In Ewigkeit

Last week, the death of Dieter Moebius was copied two days later by Don Joyce of Negativland, who copped their name from a song by Neu!, which features Moebius colleague Michael Rother. Both were 71.These are coincidences, as is the fact that Kate had already wanted to do our show last night with distilled collections of things we know or are familiar with, like, so many slaps in One Life to Live, or Columbo going on about something his wife says or does.

The following embed has Lenny Bruce refining what it means to come, and the many “man”s in Cheech & Chong’s drive-inn sketch. For good measure, included are the infamous f-words & “dude”s from the Big Lebowski on top of that piece that gave Negativland their name. Plus, Kate reads a story in Harmonia & more Cluster..

Condensed Repetition by Kate Donovan & Davidly on Mixcloud

 

Moebius endgültig aufgenommen !-(

I count myself quite fortunate to have resided in Chicago during Cluster’s only tour of the states and likewise to’ve been in situ for Harmonia’s reunion in Berlin.I prefer not to delve too deep into the aspect of those venues’ environs as it relates to an audient’s optimal uptake for the duration of a live performance. Anyone familiar with Cluster’s quieter ambient passages may know the potential treachery when aural surroundings of the commercial or communicative kind overwhelm non-definable electronic sound emanating from the house PA system.

Being able to observe so near the unbreakable interpersonal acuity with which Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius of Cluster generated their style of fragile silence upon the Metro stage was to witness an act of affirmation, an experience extended to those presently present, the likes of which only come so often.

Had it not been for Moebius and his colleagues Roedelius and Michael Rother, as well as Conny Plank and others, the guy they call Eno would not be Eno. On the other hand, had it not been for Brian Eno, I wouldn’t know Moebius.

Nothing transcends like a live performance, so I say unequivocally that, given a choice between listening at home and going to a show, naturally I’d prefer to see the Kluster man of Harmonia live, and not just because now I cannot.

But I give great thanks that he was recorded again & again. I love the music, of course, and notwithstanding his manifold field of influence upon, let’s face it, the mortally afoot,  without his place on vinyl and magnetic tape and in the digital realm, Dieter Moebius would be no more.

Born in ’44, gone in ’15. This is from last year.

The Sundae Conspiracy: In Which I Strawman with the Best of ‘Em

“Put it on a plate, son. You’ll enjoy it more.”
—Otto Mom
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It is possible to observe transgressive media obsessions as an outsider, in spite of the boundaries having been all but blown away. I don’t mean to belittle anyone’s local concerns with this aspersion, as there are no doubt always real local concerns. Viewed through the lens of an international network, however, seeing how specific things breach the regional threshold to make them matter nationally, or pan-ethnically, could lead others to preoccupy themselves, with the unawares airs that they’re above it all.

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Short Secretary Tells Tall Tales

This is tedious but I’m gonna do it anyway.

Former Secretary to the Bubbya administration Robert Reich has written two pieces for AriannaOnLine recently, both of them demonstrating the shallow depth of discernment that even the most intelligent American voters are able to go to, and how it shades their understanding of the political process.

First the latter piece, which guilts at a ghost: The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

He uses as a jumping off point current candidate Clinton’s craftily veiled opposition to the act’s fantasy reinstatement and warns that her not coming out in support of it might be to her political detriment, but that not doing so would definitely lead to more economic turmoil.

Of note is that this is relegated to campaign issue when there’s a guy in office right now who could be asked these same questions. Glass-Steagall’s final nail was, after all, the presidential pen from Clintonia’s waning days of legacy building.

Naturally Reich uses his insider’s view to lay blame for its dismantling at the feet of those responsible. Sort of. About his boss, he believes “most of his economic policies were sound” but that in his time in office the secretary had been “in fairly continuous battle with some other of his advisers and cabinet officers who seemed determined to do Wall Street’s bidding”.

You see, the Clintons just get bad advice, which could never have anything to do with how they profit from it.

He goes on: “To this day some Wall Street apologists argue Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have prevented the 2008 crisis because the real culprits were nonbanks like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.”

Continuing with a beautifully terse clarification of why that’s bullshit (because of where the “nonbanks” get their money), he on the other hand outright obscures by omission: Having just mentioned that it was bad advice that led to his boss’ partying with Phil Gramm like it was 1999, and how that led to the 2008 crisis, he fails even to hint that one of the post-crisis Wall Street apologists is that same boss.

At what point does an ex-president’s position become his own and not just that of unnamed bad advisers?

He concludes by saying that candidate “Clinton, of all people, should remember” the lesson he is talking about. Such ostensibly strong words. But here he furthers the outrageous notion that there exist presidents who you should prefer having in office over others, because you at least have a chance to get them to listen.

Lemme see: He listens to you partially on tax rates and budgetary matters but ignores you on NAFTA and Glass-Steagall. The former solidifies his reputation as a fiscally responsible captain of economic growth and stability, and the latter destroys the world economy. Tough choices. Good thing there’re adults in the room to weigh and decide.

Now it’s the old first lady’s turn and, by god, if we can just get her ear…

So how do the people reading Reich respond? I’ll admit first-off that the rule of plausible consent applies to my interpretation here, so it should be taken with a grain of sodium pentothal.

The response would appear roundly in favor of candidate Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. Clinton, it is said, is bought and paid for.

This is what I would call the One Step Beyond factor of consumer media, a default dissent of the disseminators of given information. If they were inclined to go beyond one step, they’d be reading & commenting elsewhere. So while they believe the author is being too generous to the Clintons, they still believe the Democratic machine can be “recaptured” by someone who’ll have their ear.

It will be noted that the battle for the Democratic nomination will be over domestic concerns such as these, while differences of opinion on foreign affairs remain even more narrowly rhetorical. But in the pages of the Posts & Times-es & Journals you will not read about the financiers who capitalize off both sets of issues and how the politicians and their advisers will thrive off of it, despite their public display of disgruntled dismay.

Whether or not any or all of them believe their bullshit is immaterial to the fact that it is what it is.

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Reich’s bit from a week ago has an outright lie in the headline, and although that’d usually be down to a simple editorial decision, it is, in fact, the gist of the article entitled The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single Payer.

I’d let him off the hook if it were not for Reich’s vague metonymic twist that concludes his essay: “Which is why, ultimately, American [sic] will have to make a choice.”

When referring to the legislative branch of the American government, we read about the “House”. When referring to the executive branch of the American government, we read about the “White House” or “Washington” — maybe even the “United States” when referring to elements of either.

But what we never read in reference to governmental policy making is “America” or “Americans” unless they are marching on- or bombing another country, so he must be talking about the simple folks faced with a choice.

So I have to ask…

When the ACA was being drafted, where were the Americans? When they were discussing health care reform in Washington, where were the Americans? That’s right. They were on forums like AriannaOnLine parroting the president in their support for a “robust public option”.

Keep this in mind. As the president himself said that that was what was required to keep insurance premiums down. Before he changed his position and it wasn’t.

So Reich’s piece is about how the big insurance companies are monopolizing (I told you this was tedious. I should just quit now). Huge profitable organizations that have benefited from a windfall of new customers are trying to capitalize even more on the legislation they co-wrote and behave as they always have, by giving executives and shareholders huge bonuses. Why, I never.

Reich says that mergers will lead to premium increases “squeezing employees and consumers for all they’re worth” and that the “alternative is a government-run single payer system”. But he also says “the problem isn’t Obamacare”.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the ACA, aka Obamacare, was the choice Americans were presented with because — as those “fucking retarded” supporters of single-payer had to have explained to them — it was the only thing they’d be able to get the votes for.

Could it be that Reich is implicitly furthering the idea you read bandied about in mainstream press comments sections that the ACA was just a first step, after which Medicare will be extended to all and cheap healthcare will be universal in America?

What’s changed? I mean, except for the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the act and the tedious press reports about its stated victories, how do the insurance companies — who are riding as high on the socially subsidized capitalist hog as they have in the history of social capital — figure in to this magically progressive strategy, and how & when does it overcome the “what Congress will swallow” threshold?

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Fasc. of the Titans: a barely bilingual crossover zwischen The Image Nation und Der Parkbank Pinkler

Where the composite term Realitätenhändler (realtors) does not exist as a standard in Germany as it does in Austria, its two nouns, Realitäten (realities) and Händler (dealers) do.

This is submitted to bring to the attention of the reader that the very lost phoneme that distinguishes realty from reality does dually endure in the tongue of a once great cousin once removed. Consequently, characterized exclusively contextually are her variant arts of immovable properties.

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Der Parkbank Pinkler – The Park Bench Pisser
Chapter 11: Realitätenhändler – Mongers of Reality

XI.

It was the Munich massacre, which… when you think about it, that was a conflict involving mere mortals and Olympians. Now these Olympians, of course, turned out to be mortals. Everybody already knew that. But when you ask a lot of people who’re old enough, they imagine the Olympians dominating: Mark Spitz and Olga Korbut. Karin Janz, für die Ossis.

What lasts in reality, though – that’s the effect of the massacre. Or so they say. Prior to that, people’d say it was unthinkable only thirty years after the war that your people’d start fittin’ police with SWAT shit. It had to’ve looked like the definition of an ironic twist of fate that murdered Israelis on the German watch led to it. I mean, one day, it’s who’d let Krauts brandish commando gear after the Holocaust an’ shit, and the next day they’re planning how and when to storm whatever barricades. Fuh-kin’ ‘ell.

Read a bit the other day in the Spiegel at the Bibliothek. From a few years ago. About how the Neo-anderthals had their hands all up in that shit like demigods at the twentieth Olympiad. You know they were called The fuckin Happy Games?

When you think about how… still today the enabling class is too chickenshit to admit how much free infiltration room they’ve been giving informants and their handlers, or whoever the fuck, the Zwickau situation sheds brighter light on “the assistance from right-wing extremists” in ’72 I was reading about. That story came out right about when the talk of a Zwickau conspiracy was heating up. I swear they’re fuckin with us. Like Taxi Driver. “Make your move.” There’s no greater centrifugal force than fascism spreading every which way.

Fuck all that South America and underground Antarctic bases shit! Show me a fucker in a black flack jacket and ski mask and I’ll tell you who the Nazis are. People make fun of American Civil War re-enactors, but for serious, there’s those every year in Arkansas doing what whose acronym should sound like Scooby fuckin Doo barking: Mock Real Ultimate Fighting. MRUF!

Nah, serious, though, one time Deutschland’s own GSG-9 won every friggin category at that thing. What is it, everybody all over the world with this 9 shit? I guess nothing anti-terrorizes like when you hear the Nine are after you.

Hey, speakin o acronyms and Alemanni irony — and if you didn’t know from my language that it was an overused word, you sure as fuck should know from yours. That Deutschland has some Ossi chemist holding the ECB credit candle and dripping debt wax all over mother Democracy’s nipples should at least raise the eyebrows of a few people who recall reading about the bitter calm between last century’s global shakedowns Roman numerals one and two.

That’s gotta be irony right? I’m not sure there’re any other options.

But, anyway, you know how the Neos ‘re all into this ancient symbology and whatever? Well, that kind of obsession turns up everywhere – from unoriginal dickheaded movie ideas to names the nerds give every new blip on their science-y radar of new & improved scientific realities.

I’ll tell you something, they won’t be done with the franchise what came out of the Titans reboot until they’ve used every title variation from the Planet of the Apes saga. Fuh-kin ‘ell.  I can just hear the parents: “How many goddamn lunch boxes we gotta buy anyway?”

And that’s nothin. What I’m tryin to say is, everywhere these western allies fiddle, the new eastern terrorists turn up like clockwork and then the media is at the ready with their whole complicated history and shit. The narrative is always, like, you know, 9/11, so we gotta do something.

Everybody knows what the fucking Yanks did. Well, y’know. Mostly. But the EU puts together this ATLAS network. These are like thirty or somethin’ of these full-on military police armies from every corner of Europe, you know, sharing expertise and what. All of ’em with their attention grabbing ALLCAPS acronyms and crazy ass coats of arms with their own version of some kind of flesh-eating bird in profile, or a snake fuckin an upside-down cross. Fuhh-kiin ‘ehll.

It sounds like a joke but it’s not. Even if every weapons producer in the world wadn’t makin serious clay hawkin to everybody bar none – and to the barred twice as much, if not on quantity, then the return on the convoluted consignment – and even if black ops didn’t spend chunks training terrorists, terrorists would still be drawn to counter-terrorists, real or imagined. They’re friggin magnets, man! And the only time they’re turned to repel is when they’re rappelling Batman-style down some skyscraper to fuck some Sheik in the ass with some other Sheik’s dick.

The narrative’s all, “We need to do something to prevent this from happening in the future.” But the reality is they’re doing something to ensure it’ll be necessary. So, yeah it’s not cause and effect, it’s effect & cause.

Of course the banks wants defaults. Friggin peons get high an’ mighty when it smells like somebody across the beautiful warm lagoon where they got their holiday planned might be fatter and lazier than they are. And the goddamn crocodiles that represent both them and the banks, hell. Half of them think the shit’s for real! But it’s effect & cause. ‘Cause the lender knows where his money’s comin from. Ha! Effektengeschäft. Makes stock broking sound like what it is: the business of causing effects.

Manno man, die deutsche Sprache. That shit says it all.

It’s like how you fuckers, whenever somebody asks you somethin like, what would happen if you had done this extraordinary thing, you always answer with some kind of excuse, like, “If I had eaten so much as that, wow, I would have been hungry.” Except in this case you’d get the point of the exercise and have been clever on purpose. Relax! Ist nur ein Scherz!

But here’s one I don’t get: Wandelanleihe. What the fuck is that about? Sounds like a tele advert where you’re lollygaggin’ through the Volkspark and the low interest money’s just faaalling from the trees! But the reality is, one minute you and your family are all safe an’ secure, next minute you’re at a picnic and the grass is suckin’ your pockets clean.

That’s one case where the English version sounds less deliberately ambiguous. Convertible bond. Resonates adventure with the top down. But you know there’s double danger to your budget when the number begins with two zeros and there’s this lucky number seven just caaalling you to clean up at the roulette wheel.

You read the paper today? When Deutschjournos declare, “Im Falle einem neuen Weltkrieg, die Deutschen würden gegen Russland kämpfen”, I can only say, some things never change, innit? It’s almost hilarious watching jackoff Kraut pols foursquare aligned in opposition along with the transatlantic partners in crime, when you can just see their post-polit career eyeballs twitching cuz they can’t help telegraphing their hungry hedging heart’s wandering the other direction where they think all their money’ll be made.

Seriously, that thing with the eagle on every shield? Says all you need to know about who aspires to represent the facade of the acropolis.

Seems the threats are immer more vague until absolutely necessary. I’m not saying there aren’t real people who would do massive damage without the assistance of the ones who benefit from it. Just empirically it seems far less likely, if you ask me.

Haste das Neueste gehört? Fuckin Henkel wants to load up the Berliner bobbies with hybrid tanks and machine guns and shit. He talks like it’s because of what happened at Charlie Hebdo, but we all know he’s milkin’ the homey tourists’ bitin’ the dust in Tunisia.

Like, seriously, have you seen these guys cruising around in their lorries in riot gear? More and more every goddamn day. Does anybody in their right shit-stained mind want neo-anderthals who stomp on protesters’ heads to be able to put down dozens of ’em before they know what’s happenin? Fuh. Kin. Hell.

Ja, aber! says the peon. I tell you, man. It’s not like I gotta. You know what fear is. Just like I do. Here we sit. Haben ein Schiss. Shit-scared to sleep outside in the fuckin summer! That’s fear. But I seriously doubt some pig is going around on his nights off smashin our skulls in. Gotta be some sick psycho, for sure, though. The string pullers may be the spawn of Hades but as far as I’m concerned the Pinkler is the devil himself.

Fuck terrorism! They don’t know the meaning of the first two syllables to be puttin’ their goddamn ism on it.

I’m not so sure the pees that be need to use people’s fear against ’em. Power can do pretty much anything it wants and proves it at regular intervals. But at the same time, people insist the scare tactics drive the bus. I figure they… y’know, the people, are just making excuses, using their own fear against themselves so that deep down they can pretend they were for this bullshit, all along.

Scheiße. That’s not dealin’ with reality. That’s havin’ reality dealt with you, weißte?

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Kapitel X << >> Kapitel ??

The Implausible Plausibility of Harry Mudd

This article from The New Yorker is a good example of comparatively good reportage gone flawed in how, even with an unsavory presentation of its host country’s affairs, it implicitly frames its motives in a better light than it deserves, demonstrating the ways of the unwitting accomplice in the manufacture of plausible consent.

This is more than a fair assessment, maybe too fair. For one, calling the reportage comparatively good entirely ignores the opening sentence wherein it is claimed that there is “historic nuclear diplomacy taking place in Vienna’s elegant Coburg Palace”. But for now I would like to avoid close-reading the party-line that underlies establishment media.


Suffice it to say that in spite of itself, the article does not include a number of pertinent facts that have maintained acrimony between nations, the primary amongst which would be that the United States has in bipartisan fashion referred to Iran as a belligerent terrorist state for a generation and-a-half and counting and how the journalist plans to make no attempt to dispel the thereupon formed public consensus.

Having said that, what the article does do is paint a picture of the devastating consequences a horrendously ugly conflict had on its most innocent party, the Iranians, and how it was enabled by their prime moving counterpart in the aforesaid diplomacy, the United States, without which enablement, implies the journalist, Iran may have resumed its nuclear ambition, but they might not now be quite so distrustful of the United States.

In a nutshell, it’s about former foreign policy folly. What interests me most, however, is how the US policy is framed, and much more forgotten, to put it generously.

Back in the eighties, Western intelligence agencies questioned whether Iran’s eighteen-month-old revolution could survive for even a few weeks after Saddam Hussein’s surprise invasion.
[snip]

Instead, the war dragged on for eight years.

[snip]

Officially, the United States was neutral. But Washington did not want Iran to win, so U.S. intelligence provided satellite imagery of Iranian positions to Iraq, along with military options.

As it wont of such ancient insider begotten info, it results in a journalist’s giving successive sources, and consequently US policy itself, the benefit of doubt. When you read the above passages, do you read “Western intelligence agencies claim to have questioned…” or “A source within the US administration says that they did not want Iran to win”?

Of course, you don’t. A basic level of credulity is granted anyone claiming to have an insider’s view. Particularly in matters of secret foreign policy, the journalist inherits default discretion on when the source is to be attributed and when something can be presented as fact.

The more the sentence meshes with conventional public wisdom, the more likely it is presented probabilis concentio and as such is taken as a given to even greater effect when it’s read in print. This forms a fascinating Goebbels-Ockham confluence of misattributed axiomatic thought, where the simplest possible explanation repeated often enough rules out everything else entirely.

Like, first, by underlying omission: They were so pleased with the Iran-Iraq war dragging on as long as it did…

And, secondly, by blatant omission: …that they were willing to forestall certain Iraqi victory and supply Iran with weapons.

Leaving out Iran-Contra tells half a story at most.

In fairness to the journalist, the inclusion of Iran-Contra would have required the additional lending of the assumption of subsequent truth to the source of the original lies. In this case, that it could be for the dual purpose of freeing hostages and funding the Contras, but never for the third perennial prong of fomenting perpetual warfare for the profit of itself.

The story instead is the retelling of the old one: Foolish foreign policy begets unintended consequences from which the fool must recover, which is true. Some fools will feel the need to redeem themselves. If you hear from them, at best they’re the sources of a lesser spin.

Telling the whole truth entails explaining who among those reputed fools benefits from the self-same scenario. That could get too hairy for journalistic comfort, not to mention too muddy for comprehensive prose, when everything the person who said they had been lying says is a lie.

My best advise on how to fully fathom the imperialist is to vigilantly remind yourself that even the most colossal cock-ups are most often a feature, not a flaw.

Superfecta of Yes We Canonize

Taking the tweet in sequence:

—Not only not universal, the Affordable Care Act is a crony-capitalist scheme that squeezes the marginal to feed first & foremost the wealthiest with whom you’ll never be able to swim. A deductible so high that you won’t overcome it until you’re on life support, but is what you buy to avoid a penalty, is not coverage. As a matter of fact, it’s anti-coverage.


 Pooling resources to help the poorest in need has a virtue and logic to it. However, making the country club owner open his doors to everyone while letting him share life guard duty means he gets to blow the whistle. I’m not sure where I am going with this analogy and whether it’s those at the deep end or shallow end who need special attention, but all we’re accomplishing here is shifting from one place to another the definition of who can least afford it.

To call this a foundation from within which something better will spring ignores for now why many people couldn’t afford it to begin with. For all the second hand knowledge you hear about people benefiting from some aspect of this law, there are those who are righteously pissed at the smug certainty that it’s someone else’s fault entirely they’re getting screwed.

—Marriage equality is a beautiful thing. I mean, if the state is gonna sanction marriage, it ought to apply to everyone. One might take this victory as a teachable moment: Is this the only issue anyone was willing to hold someone’s feet to the fire over? Or, no, wait. How’s Fast Track looking? And what was it about that public option and why should its robustness have mattered if the ACA is all that?

Is the lesson that in the runup to 2016, the all-important, last ditch, desperate SCotUS factor factors in that we need more presidents like Reagan, the guy who nominated the justice who wrote the majority opinion on this monumental decision? Regarding 44’s uncanny similarities to 40, it’s not just the “uhs” that have it. And Hills has got that moxie, as well. So I guess Reagan will be president forever.

Could it be that the president’s “evolution” from foe to key ally is selective? Or does that just make me cynical?  

—The only thing in the Saga bin Laden more dubious than the case against him is the proof he was killed & buried at sea four springs ago. Sure, it’s plausible that American military force would be used to sentence & execute someone without so much as an attempt to gather evidence that could withstand actual scrutiny, as that has become standard operating procedure.

And the way they allegedly & unceremoniously disposed of the purported corpse is par for the course as far as cheeky American behavior concerns other cultures’ customs. Still, the entire book on this thing from 2001 until now has been perhaps the biggest question-begging dare of the twenty-first century. Nevertheless, there’s no challenge too low for a tribalist to crawl under to avoid admitting a tiny truth, especially if it would imply the tiniest blow to their fragile cult of personality.

—Finally, now that the state houses are reeling in the Rebel rag for its last lap, I guess the racists of the greatest American divide will be cheering for that “Kenyan” too? In case you don’t know, YesWeDid (found in the above, hashtagged for emphasis) is a relatively new tradition in the taunting of would-be adversaries.

Naturally, it’s wordplay on a particular promise of a certain campaign seven summers ago — making it both a pun and proving the residual strength of its multiple award-winning marketing strategy. Though, that it mires amidst matrimonial mirth so much murder makes me miss the days it might have been viewed as being in poor taste to cheer with symbolism so near metaphorical nails in real coffins.

But it’s a progressive world, which means nothing is impossible. This includes already two female US state secretaries, the first of whom (appointed by the first symbolically Black president) answered that half-a-million dead Iraqi children were worthy of the sanctions against them, and the second, who might become the first lady president, proved her worthiness as state department head when she giggled, “We came, we saw, he died!”

Not a remark that a progressive would allow out of the mouth of a Republican — whether or not they were aware the camera was rolling or a mic was on, and irrespective of the on/off status of the US asset being remarked upon — at least not without a public finger-wagging. This further highlights just how wide open the future is for progressivism and that no matter where it goes, someone will be gleefully tweeting it.

#YesWeCanDoWhateverWeWant  #LeadFollowOrGetOuttaTheWay

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